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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: JOBS, LABOR TRADE, AND UNIONS

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By Audrey Thompson

During this election season I have heard the Democratic Party telling African American voters why we have to get out the vote and vote for the Democrats, but here’s what I have to say about that.

Jobs, jobs, jobs! The unemployment rate for African Americans in the Inland Empire has always been the highest of all races and voting for some of the local Democrats have not changed that fact. Labor Unions and Trades certainly do not employ African Americans to the extent they can and they give the  most money to Democrats running for office. Yet, Democrats come to our community and expect us to vote for them, no questions asked. Democrats are owned by the Unions and will not speak out against the Unions and Labor on our behalf. For Democrats Union money is more important than our vote. Well let’s show them this election how powerful our vote is!

How many times have we had the conversation about driving down the freeway under construction and we see no African American working on that project? How many times have we drove by building and housing construction projects and did not see any African American working on that project?

Why is it that Labor Unions and Trades have Black Labor Unions and Trades divisions? No brainer, if the Unions and Trades were fair to our workers and black leadership representation, we certainly would not need a black division. It is almost impossible for Blacks to get apprenticeship positions in Labor and Trades. Yet again, Labor Union and Trades give the most money to Democrats locally, statewide and nationally. They are so bad out here in the Inland Empire that when it comes time for the Riverside/San Bernardino Central Labor Council Secretary/Treasurer, Laurie Stalnaker,  to interview candidates running for election, they don’t even invite African American candidates who have half a chance. She invites African American candidates who she knows will lose the race or have no competition in a race. CLC, Laurie Stalnaker, will not interview a viable black candidate in a significant powerful elected position. She has to be called on the carpet to interview certain African American candidates for the Union to interview for their endorsement.

And to add insult to injury, Miss Laurie is also a Delegate for the California Democratic party and a Delegate for Pete Aguilar. There have been several complaints against Laurie Stalnaker to the California State Democratic party for her racism and supporting the Republican candidate over the  Democrat candidate. The Democratic party has taken no action against her. Laurie Stalnaker has financed  Republican candidates that helped put the City of San Bernardino into Bankruptcy. However, if an African American Democratic candidate supports a Republican the same Democratic party will use their by-laws to not endorse the African American candidate.  I am telling you what God loves and that is the truth.

Black folk, please be informed. Let’s take a closer look at the candidates coming to our churches and community centers asking for our vote. Democrats know that 80% of African Americans who actually go to the polls and vote will vote for a Democrat no matter who the Democrat is and no questions asked! That is not the case with all other populations of voters. Be informed, hear what both parties have to say. Don’t just take for granted that the Democrat has your best interest at heart. Be informed!

What we need most are jobs and if the Unions Labor and Trades have the most invested in the Democrats who are asking for our vote maybe we should consider the other candidate. The only thing we have is our vote, and the only way to make the Democratic party understand we mean business is to vote for the other guy. How many times are we going to be hoodwinked, bamboozled and duped by our Democratic party?

Community Police Academy

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SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino Police Department is currently accepting reservations for the next Community Police Academy. This is an eight-week program designed to give participants an inside look at local law enforcement. The program is designed to form a stronger partnership between the community and the Police Department through education. Participants will be exposed to a variety of topics, such as: Criminal investigations; Crime analysis and crime mapping; Gang enforcement; Traffic laws and enforcement; Animal Control; Community Policing and many more. Course material will be presented by Police Department administrators and veteran department staff. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet the Chief of Police, where they are encouraged to ask questions.  Enrollment is limited to 50 students per class. Potential candidates must live or work in the City of San Bernardino.

Classes will meet in the Police Department’s main training room, 710 N. “D” Street, on Wednesday evenings 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., for eight consecutive weeks.  Free parking will be provided to the front of the police station as well as on adjoining streets.   The Fall Academy will begin Wednesday, September, 24, and continue through graduation on Wednesday, November 12.

The Citizen’s Academy is a great way to learn about your community, meet nice people, and get to know the men and women of your police department.  For more information, contact Community Affairs at (909) 384-5753 or by e-mail, communityaffairs@sbcity.org.

Stanford scholar named MacArthur fellow

Jennifer Eberhardt says the MacArthur fellowship will allow her to expand her research on race and the criminal justice system. (Photo: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Jennifer Eberhardt says the MacArthur fellowship will allow her to expand her research on race and the criminal justice system. (Photo: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Stanford’s Jennifer Eberhardt has been named one of the 2014 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. A social psychologist, she studies the racial elements in the perceptions of crime.

BY CLIFTON B. PARKER

Stanford psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt, who studies race and the law, has been named one of the 2014 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The fellowships, given to scholars for their achievement and potential, include a $625,000 stipend over five years. The honors rank among the most prestigious prizes in academia and the creative arts. They are sometimes referred to as the “genius” awards.

“I feel it gives me the space to pursue my research with new energy and motivation,” Eberhardt said. “It reaffirms how important the issues of race and inequality are in the legal system.”

When the foundation initially contacted her to inform her that she was named a fellow, Eberhardt was overwhelmed.

“I had no inkling, no idea they were considering me. It felt like a pivotal moment in my life.”

When the awards were publicly announced Tuesday night, Eberhardt received numerous calls and emails from colleagues, friends and family. “I think I had only a couple hours of sleep,” she chuckled. Thursday promised to be even busier – in addition to the MacArthur media inquiries, she was due to give two different presentations on racial disparities to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“But I feel good and have the energy,” Eberhardt said. “I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.”

Joined Stanford in 1998

Since she arrived on campus in 1998, Eberhardt has examined the role that racial stereotypes play in the criminalization of African-Americans. She joined the Stanford faculty after teaching at Yale University, and is currently an associate professor in psychology and co-director of SPARQ, a university initiative that addresses social problems.

Her colleague Greg Walton, a Stanford assistant professor of psychology, said that Eberhardt’s research has vital social significance. “In helping understand our minds, Jennifer’s research helps us see the kinds of changes we need to make in society to help give all people a fair shot,” he said.

A first-generation college graduate from Cleveland, Ohio, Eberhardt said that her parents instilled in her a love of education. She witnessed the disparity in education in the different neighborhoods where she grew up, and soon fell in love with learning. Her late father, Harlan, a postal mail worker, “understood the power of education,” she said.

And her late mother, Mary, was inspired enough by her daughter’s collegiate success – she earned a doctorate from Harvard – to go to college herself at midlife.

“Education is transformational,” Eberhardt said.

Expanding research

Now, the MacArthur fellowship will greatly expand her research plans and resources to connect with real-world policy. “I hope to work with more law enforcement agencies and do things off the beaten path,” Eberhardt said, noting that she’s currently engaged with the Oakland Police Department on the analysis of racial profiling data. “Many of the (law enforcement) agencies collect the data but often don’t know what to do with it,” she said.

As Eberhardt pointed out, although African-Americans constitute only 12 percent of America’s population, they represent 40 percent of the nation’s prison inmates.

Her statistical analysis has shown that police officers are more likely to identify African-American faces than white faces as criminal. In one experimental study, people who were exposed to black faces were then more likely to identify a blurry image as a gun than those who were exposed to white faces or no faces.

Eberhardt plans to combine social psychological insights with technology to improve outcomes in the criminal justice context and elsewhere.

“I’m hopeful to bring about real social change,” she said.